Deputy Governor BNM- Jessica Chew Cheng Lian

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — Digital financial services in Southeast Asia is estimated to contribute about five per cent of the total revenue of the region’s financial sector this year, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

Deputy Governor Jessica Chew Cheng Lian said this share was expected to more than double to 11 per cent within the next five years, driven among others by digital lending, investment, remittance and insurance products.

In Malaysia, she said the most recent demand-side survey on financial capability and inclusion indicated that four in ten Malaysians utilise Internet banking services, up from just one in ten as recently as three years before.

“This trend is expected to intensify with the expansion in digital product offerings and growing acceptance of online financial services,” she said in her speech at the BNM-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Conference on Financial Education and Financial Consumer Protection in Asia-Pacific, here today.

Chew said digitalisation can also be a powerful force for sustainable financial inclusion.

“By lowering costs and increasing scale and reach, it has become a means for providing access to essential financial services such as e-payments, micro-insurance and online remittance to previously underserved segments.

“Other innovations such as banking and insurance aggregators are also helping consumers make better financial decisions, in turn, increasing their confidence in using financial services,” she added.

The conference, themed “Empowering Financial Consumers in the Digital Age”, aims to help untangle and develop sensible responses to the myriad of issues associated with the rapid digitalisation of financial services.

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